Studio Marco Vermeulen Designs Dutch Mountains in Eindhoven
Dutch architect Studio Marco Vermeulen has designed two interconnected hybrid timber towers for Eindhoven’s railway zone development. The Dutch
Dutch architect Studio Marco Vermeulen has designed two interconnected hybrid timber towers for Eindhoven’s railway zone development. The Dutch Mountains, one 130m tall, the other 100m, will be built using glued laminated timber harvested from sustainably managed forests. The Dutch Mountains are a stone's throw from Eindhoven Central Station and the bus station. The city center is easily accessible on foot or by bicycle via the adjacent tunnel under the railway. At the same time, the location is also easily accessible by car and a junction for shared and electric transport is being realized in the building.
The two towers of The Dutch Mountains are visible from much of Eindhoven and beyond. The building therefore has a sculptural main shape that is recognizable from a great distance and functions as a beacon. It always looks different from different points of view. The two rectangular towers each have a wider and a narrow side and differ in height; approximately 130 meters to the Prof. Dorgelolaan and approximately 100 meters on the rail side.
The main shape is created by connecting the two towers in a fluid way; facade becomes roof and roof becomes facade again. The towers are therefore inextricably linked. The elegant lines of the façade merge into that of the "voile", a roof construction of laminated wooden beams that gives the building finesse and character, and which is visible from the central interior space.
This green interior space connects the various program components with each other and with the environment. A wide staircase with seating and planting leads to the first floor, where the conference center and restaurant are located. All floors in the basement lead to roof terraces adjacent to this interior space. These terraces are connected to the ground floor via stairs and thus to the Dommelpark. The users of the building are encouraged with this theatrical route (mountain path) to take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Much of the building will be constructed in solid wood (CLT) harvested from sustainably managed forests. CO2 is stored in that material for a longer period of time, so that it contributes to the reduction of the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. CO2 emissions are also prevented because less steel and concrete is used than in conventional buildings. The building will be largely prefabricated and assembled on site in a relatively short period of time.
Although not visible in every place, the wood gives a tactile quality to the interior. The material is especially visible in the substructure, where floors, columns and the roof construction are made of wood. The wooden ceilings are clearly visible in the towers. Not all parts of the building can be made of wood or other biobased materials. The most heavily loaded structural parts (including lift cores) of the building are made of concrete. To reduce sound transmission, the top of the floors in the living area is also made of concrete. The south and west facades are fitted with solar panels in a color scheme that matches the rest of the facade.
Natural principles are used as much as possible to control the indoor climate of The Dutch Mountains. Rainwater that falls on the roofs is collected in the building. With an irrigation system that is visible in the central area (a babbling artificial stream of open gutters and waterfalls), this water is used for the planting in the "valley" of the building. Any excess rainwater is transported to the Dommel along this road. The required heat and cooling for The Dutch Mountains is obtained from an ATES source.
The three lower floors of The Dutch Mountains are all about meeting. This part of the building therefore includes catering, sports facilities, shops, meeting rooms, exhibition space and a large conference room. These functions are connected by the publicly accessible spacious entrance hall. The lowest layers of the towers above the plinth will be furnished as offices and workplaces. These open work floors are adjacent to terraces that have a view of the collective interior space where there is always something to do.
The north-east tower is formed by houses, more than half of which are in the middle segment. In the southwest tower there are a hotel and short stay apartments. At the very top of this tower is the rooftop bar, with a 360-degree view of Eindhoven and the surrounding area.